Back in August I blogged about my proposal to speak at South By Southwest, the super-hip high impact event every winter in Austin. In October I was thrilled to announce that my proposal was accepted: Let Patients Help: Why Healthcare Must Wake Up.
Well, I have to cancel. It’s an unhappy side effect of two things:
- My skin cancer diagnosis, and a couple other items (below), will hit me with $7,000-$10,000 of unplanned medical bills.
- South By Southwest is such a competitive event that not only do they not pay speakers, you have to pay all your own expenses (travel, lodging, meals).
As a self-employed cancer patient, my insurance choices are few, and I chose $10,000 deductible. I don’t regret that; later I’ll blog about what my choices were, and the reasoning for that choice. No “victim” schtick here.:)
The other items include:
- Two separate dental issues (one requiring an implant) give me $3800 of new bills
- At my recent eye exam (for new glasses), a standard screening showed that I may be heading toward glaucoma, which should be testing and treated. (So far so good, but more bills.)
How ironic: the speaker about patient engagement is turning into a case study instead of a speaker.
The other factor is that I’ve chosen to prioritize rest – my third cancer diagnosis is not fun to think about, even though two are “just” basal cells. SxSW is shoehorned between two trips, creating a 16 day four city run; removing this stop and speech will provide a much appreciated break.
Of course the mission is unchanged, and I’ll do what I can to deliver the same message (see the description at the link above) – it just won’t be at South By Southwest.
Thanks to all of you who gave so much support to my proposal. Have fun and do good work there, all!
Ryan W says
Love the post, Dave! Keep your head high – though, I know you will. No matter what the venue, your amazing work will shine
Kristy Meyer says
Love how you are breaking this out. Thanks for the openness with the issues you are facing around your healthcare.
Thanks for your openness. Get better, and come back to Austin next year (or sooner!)